The Dance Hall 5: Ice Dance Fans 2017-2018

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Dobre

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I think looking at a junior team's record is way too soon to be making predictions about that team's future success long-term.

Speaking of which . . . statistics from this year's Sophomore Senior Class:

Sophomore Statistics:
-Teams that earned their Worlds minimums: 5 (Lauriault & Le Gac, Pogrebinsky & Benoit, Evdokimova & Bazin, Kuzmichova & Sinicyn, Sales & Wamsteeker--the first time for S&W. Biechler & Dodge had their minimums for this season, but need a new SD minimum for next year).
-Teams that finished top 24 on the SB list: 0
-Teams that finished top 24 on this season’s World Standings list: 1 (Lauriault & Le Gac)
-Teams that qualified for the post season via Europeans or 4CCs: 2 (Lauriault & Le Gac and Sales & Wamsteeker)
-Teams that qualified for the Olympics or Worlds: 1 (Lauriault & Le Gac)
-Teams that split/retired: Up to 4, not counting the two teams that split last season/last summer. At least 1 is for certain. (Pogrebinsky & Benoit). But three more teams did not attend Nationals: Fedyuschenko & Kitteridge, Li & Xiang, and Kuzmichova & Sinicyn. F&K and L&X have not competed this season as far as I know so I will consider them done unless someone knows otherwise. K&S competed the regular season so I’ll say they are missing-in-action for now, unless someone knows otherwise.
-Athletes now skating in new teams: 1 (Razgulajevs)

Second Year Senior Nationals Results:
Lauriault & Le Gac finished 2nd at French Nationals.
Evdokimova & Bazin finished 5th at Russian Nationals.
Sales & Wamsteeker finished 6th at Canadian Nationals.
Pogrebinsky & Benoit finished 7th at U.S. Nationals.
Biechler & Dodge finished 10th at U.S. Nationals.

Oy. 4-5 teams left from the 10 that entered seniors last year. Granted, these were not the most decorated junior teams, and there's nothing surprising about the disappearance of Fedyuschenko & Kitteridge or Li & Xiang. But a 60% dissolution rate in two seasons, that's rough. And only one athlete currently listed as looking for a new partner. I'm not surprised. As I said when I started tracking these teams, the transition from junior to senior strikes me as very, very tough.

Still frustrating.

I don't see an obvious pattern either. Opportunity, of course, is a major motivator. But it's not everything. Athletes like Mackenzie Bent and Richard Kang-in Kam could have been competing for invites to major internationals this season but do not appear to be actively looking for partners. (Wikipedia says he began skating for Disney in 2017). Pogrebinsky & Benoit had the highest scores among all these teams last season; and despite a very deep field at home, would still have been likely to receive multiple opportunities to compete internationally next season. (Judging by this year's Challenger invites). Funding, of course, is a major obstacle; and these athletes are naturally at an age where they are making choices about higher education. Perfectly good choices. Still . . . frustrating.
 
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Dobre

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Absolutely right. Case in point Loboda and Drozd. After all that they are beaten by the lowly E/B this year.

Yes, well, Hawayek & Baker were defeated by Cannuscio & McManus and Pogrebinsky & Benoit in the last two U.S. Nationals respectively. It's not exactly a death knell. L&D have the higher international scores than E&B, and as I listed earlier, they defeated more competitive teams this season (including Smart & Diaz, Nazarova & Nikitin, Soucisse & Firus, Kaliszek & Spodyriev, and Lorenz & Polizoakis). I think L&D will be OK as long as they stay together and develop better programs. (Seeing as all of their programs over the past couple seasons were better, IMO, I don't see the latter as a particularly big ask).
 

Lara111

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Absolutely right. Case in point Loboda and Drozd. After all that they are beaten by the lowly E/B this year. Better to say less and less and let the skating do the talking. But in all honesty I've never really been impressed with them as a couple, Drozd is just so much better.
The same with L/B.
 

Dobre

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The same with L/B.

Chloe & Logan split their mistakes pretty evenly, IMO. He is the one who made the obvious mistakes in the free at Brisbane and at U.S. Nationals. She missed her twizzles during at least two performances during their regular JGP events. They're quite well matched in both their strengths & muckups, IMO. And in height & experience.
 

Yehudi

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And finished fifth after three seasons on the JGP and having been together multiple years as a team.

At that time, P/C were still being coached by Gabi’s mother who, by her own admission, is not a top level coach. Their vast improvement in subsequent years was the result of getting elite coaching. I don’t think L/B have had any issues with coaching.
 

Lara111

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Chloe & Logan split their mistakes pretty evenly, IMO. He is the one who made the obvious mistakes in the free at Brisbane and at U.S. Nationals. She missed her twizzles during at least two performances during their regular JGP events. They're quite well matched in both their strengths & muckups, IMO. And in height & experience.
Well, mistakes are one thing natural talent is another. I agree they are even in mistakes but not in natural talent.
 

her grace

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Don’t think L/B are C/P competition. L/B have been junior for ever and just had a small break through with the change of coach the past season.... The Green will be ahead of L/B and so will G/S.

I agree that L/B aren't C/P's competition. Carreria/Ponomarenko have established themselves way out ahead of the rest of the American juniors.

I agree about L/B. I do not think they will be very successful competitively. I think they are supported by USFSA but not doing well internationally and this is not a good sign.

I don't think Lewis/Bye have a lot of USFS support. So far, they've earned each assignment they've gotten (no suspicious "gift" assignments) and their placements have been decent and not spectacular. It doesn't look like they're getting a push. If anything, Lewis/Bye and Gropman/Somerville are going to have to work that much harder to be successful internationally because there are too many better skaters ahead of them in their age cohort: C/P, and recent senior grads McNamara/Carpenter and Parsons/Parsons. Instead of them, USFS is going to push the younger generation: the Greens, Ngyuen/Kolesnik, Wolfkostin/Zhao, Thachenko/Kiliakov, etc.
 

chapis

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I am hard pressed to name a current top team where there wasn't talk about the guy being better, at least in the past.

yes, in recent years, I only remember reading that Elena I. is better than their partners, though her partners were not great either. Sometimes people say Tessa is better than Scott, sometimes that Maia is better than Alex (Alex himself says it).
 

Bigbird

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yes, in recent years, I only remember reading that Elena I. is better than their partners, though her partners were not great either. Sometimes people say Tessa is better than Scott, sometimes that Maia is better than Alex (Alex himself says it).

True, even Katsalpov. It makes me appreciate even more well-balanced teams. What always boggles the mind is why does their need to be such a great difference? Aren't they not taught the same basics? Why has EI been so much better than every single Russian ice dancer to follow her? Why is Drozd so much better than Loboda. Why? Why is Bobrova's posture so dreadful? This was especially obvious in the SD this year. Why no sense of body awareness. No need for an answer just rhetoric here, I've asked these questions too many times.
 

Dobre

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There is always someone else coming up. Always.

Tkachenko & Kiliakov didn't get a lot of "love" from the judges this season. They were the top-ranked novice dance team remaining from last year's Nationals but lost head-to-heads this year to two teams composed of athletes coming out of intermediates. Plus, at Nationals, a loss to a brand new team--now dissolved. And dropped the FD to the Browns, who were dead last in intermediates last season (a fall was involved for B&B), as well as an overall loss to the Browns at Eastern Sectionals.

Then off T&K go to Europe where they defeat the novice champions, Wolfkostin & Zhao, head to head. :)

Warms my penchant-for-underdogs-fan heart. I guess I'm strange. I look at all the great teams we have at the top of the World right now, and I don't see a single one that hasn't been discounted by skeptics at some point along the way.

If you follow juniors or novices at all, then we see so many teams we fall in love with dissolve. You can see where skepticism comes from. But we also see athletes rise in the ranks for whom we never had any expectations at all.

Maybe we could turn this conversation in a positive direction and start listing athletes that supersede our initial impressions or early expectations.

Some of mine:
Chris Reed (I mean, seriously, who thought he would ever look like he was having so much fun on the ice at this stage of his career?)
Olivia Smart
Alexander Gamelin
Gilles & Poirier
Guignard & Fabbri
Kaliszek & Spodyriev
Lorenz & Polizoakis
Schwendinger & Wunderlich
Ushakova & Nekrasov
 
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thvudragon

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True, even Katsalpov. It makes me appreciate even more well-balanced teams. What always boggles the mind is why does their need to be such a great difference? Aren't they not taught the same basics? Why has EI been so much better than every single Russian ice dancer to follow her? Why is Drozd so much better than Loboda. Why? Why is Bobrova's posture so dreadful? This was especially obvious in the SD this year. Why no sense of body awareness. No need for an answer just rhetoric here, I've asked these questions too many times.
I always ask myself why someone with long legs like Stepanova has no body awareness. Such a waste.
 

Miloune

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2nd Free Dance annoucement : Guignard/Fabbri are skating to La La Land.
(Source : instagram)

Lol at Charlène's warning against any other team using the music hahaha!!
I hope they do something great with it, they seem to truly love it... but I'll be honest and admit that I would have wanted something different for them.
We'll see. I hope at least that they'll get it right with the costumes!!
 
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Bigbird

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I always ask myself why someone with long legs like Stepanova has no body awareness. Such a waste.

Bobrova's no better but at least Stepanova can dance. Tiffany has good basics but Sinitsina needs both a personality and skating skills, Katsalapov is just too controlling, he is the girl in that partnership. Sinitsina is sweet though and has elegant lines sometimes but isn't memorable. I hope we are pleasantly surprised by some new talent this year.
 

Anyasnake

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Are we officially out of teams that have worked the Seniors compulsories ? (That were Seniors pre 2010-2011)
 

MsZem

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Are we officially out of teams that have worked the Seniors compulsories ? (That were Seniors pre 2010-2011)
Are Weaver/Poje sticking around? Likewise, Bobrova/Soloviev or Coomes/Buckland?

Chock/Bates were both skating senior by 2009/10 - just not together.
 

Anyasnake

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Are Weaver/Poje sticking around? Likewise, Bobrova/Soloviev or Coomes/Buckland?

Chock/Bates were both skating senior by 2009/10 - just not together.
Yes I think they are. So Weaver/Poje, normally no B/S and Co/Bu well, that will be difficult for them to stay too long depending on her knee...
I'm not counting Chock/Bates for or Guignard/Fabbri for that reason too.
 
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